So, I might start a new thing, since movies are so dear to my heart. I’ll “review” some movies and then check Metacritic and see if I’m off-base or right on target. Let’s see how this goes…
My trip to Dallas last week was on American Airlines, and it was nonstop… so, I was entertained both ways. I transferred my headset from my Nintendo DS to the arm rest of my seat and squinted to see the little TV (of course, both times, I was the farthest you could possibly sit from the TV).
Up in the Air
I actually kinda liked this one. The story follows a guy (George Clooney) as he travels around the country (300+ days a year) as a business consultant who fires people. I’m not sure
I’d want his job, but the travel bits were all fantastic. I guess I identified with them more now that I travel too… kinda like a plumber would identify with the Mario Bros. movie? Ugh… maybe not. Anyway, my only gripe with the travel scenes was this – he didn’t have a laptop. A guy like that would definitely have a laptop… or an iPad. I’m seriously considering the switch to an iPad… the only thing it’s lacking is the ability for me to run my virtual computer labs.
Whoops – got sidetracked!
So, yeah… I’m not sure I’d watch it again, but it kept me entertained and I appreciate the realism around ‘business travel’ they baked in there. Let’s see what Metacritic has to say…
okay, Metacritic is puking from my hotel… but, it got a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes! It seems the movie was quite relevant last year during the corporate layoff bonanza. If you are in corporate America, or you travel a ton, maybe it’s worth a look-see. I didn’t like it as much as the reviewers, but I’m hard to please (in some ways… okay, only when it comes to movies/books… and only some types of movies).
Oh, there’s also a 1940’s movie by the same name, but the Clooney movie is not a remake. The 1940 one is a radio-show murder mystery… yeah, I won’t be seeing that one.
Okay, okay… after that title, I shoulda plugged my headset back into my Nintendo DS. What good could possibly come of a movie with that lame a title? Well, I watched it anyway. By the gods, it was a trainwreck.
The movie opens with some text (that was admittedly hard to read from my seat) that explains the king was dead, England was a mess, and a young princess wasn’t old enough to rule… so, her mother and her mother’s advisor were trying to force her to sign a Regency order — which would render young Victoria powerless, even when she came of age.
Okay – you got me, movie! That’s a great setup for some drama, conflict, and good story. Let’s see where this goes!
Unfortunately, there is no buildup once the actual movie starts – we are greeted with young Victoria in bed, with her mother and some guy standing over her with a paper and pen…
“No, you must sign it!”
“I will not!”
Um… really? Why not build up to that dramatic scene with some, I dunno – CHARACTERIZATION!?!? Let us see into young Victoria’s life – why/how is she so strong-willed at such a young age? How does she understand the Regency order? Why would she defy her mother? Why is he mother’s advisor so power-hungry?
Damn… I don’t write scripts, but I could have written this better. Instead, the movie just throws scenes at us and it feels more like a History channel documentary than a movie. The whole movie is jerky and seems rushed. I recommend a trip to wikipedia if yer interested in young Victoria’s life.
Let’s see if Rotten Tomatoes agrees with me…
Whoops! It seems my assessment is off-base. 75% on RT. The collected reviewers had some very nice things to say about this film. Sorry, but I don’t agree. I think the more interesting story is the whole Regency drama… could have been a great story of a young princess and her determination… instead, the movie plods along through an uninteresting romance and boring “rise to power”. Ho-hum.
One reviewer agreed with me: “The way this story is told, is just basically by people reading letters in voiceover while you look at beautiful furniture.”